Playdates with God: Why You’re Never too Old for Read Aloud

On Saturday, when Jesus still sleeps in the tomb, we are still.
Deidra started it, really, when she asked about favorite books and when I mention a certain trilogy to a thirteen-year-old boy he says he wants to read it too.
Let’s read it together, he says.
When they were small, I would tuck them in with an hour of reading but it’s been years and when he says that my heart feels homesick for the sweetness of those days.
How many thirteen-year-old boys want to pass time reading aloud with their mamma?
There are so many things that want to take me away and I have my grown-up reading that I need to do but we start reading together and we plow through that first book in a few days. Every night we read and in the hours between we talk about the story, about the characters, wonder what will happen next.
This is the boy who never would sit still to read when he was small. When his brother and I were curled together around crisp pages, he would listen while he ran around the room—made busy with a hot wheels car or some stuffed animal.
But on Saturday, when Jesus still sleeps in the tomb, I say to him, we don’t have to be anywhere today.
And he knows exactly what I mean. So we drag a thick blanket out under the plum tree and we read all afternoon in the dappled light of sun filtered through those purple leaves.
I study his face as he studies the page and I notice a fine line of hair above his lip that never used to be there before and my heart twists just a wee bit. This boy is growing up but he still wants to spend hours with his mamma in the afternoon sun reading. The gift of that settles over me and I roll on my back and look up at the blue of the sky peeking through the shelter of leaves. A mamma white-crowned sparrow watches me from a limb above and I can hear her nest of babies calling to her from the box nearby. Her anxiety is evident as she flits from limb to limb and I understand her plight.
Isn’t my nest still full too?
In a few weeks, her hatchlings will fledge and this anxiety will be a distant memory. But right now, she feels the pull of those hungry mouths, her every thought for them. I watch her perch on the door of the box and disappear inside.  
How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:
the Playdates button:


Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also: 

On In Around button

Over at The High Calling today I’m talking with Lauren Winner about her new book Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis. Will you join us over there to hear what this fascinating woman has to say about  writing and faith and life after divorce?


  1. says

    An afternoon outside reading with your thirteen-year-old son…

    What a gift for you both!

    May God continue to fill your life with such blessings!

  2. says

    My oldest is only nine, and reading together is one of my favorite things to do with her. It’s one of the times we can be physically close, and share in such a fun way.

  3. says

    What was the trilogy? Lord of the Rings? I remember reading aloud Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” because my oldest was a teen and thought Dickens was old English – so we read it together – and it is one of my very fondest memories! I have 5 copes of this book, so that maybe one Christmas we can all read it together!

  4. says

    Oh sweet moments…yes..if my husband will read…my kids would still listen…deep into their teens. I love the reflection of the birds. blessings~

  5. says

    What a beautiful memory! I’m going to have a 13yo in a few weeks. I love that he still wants moments together, also. 🙂 This is a great reminder to have days that really don’t have anything scheduled – a beautiful picture of rest. Thanks!

  6. says

    My son’s school assignment was to read “The Lord of the Flies.” We—his Dad and I, and our 16 year old read it over several nights. I used to read to them on road trips in the car before all the gadgets. I am thinking that last trip with Luke through his book might be my last chapter book with my kids. But….I have pulled out the picture books for the granddaughter 🙂

  7. says

    My heart aches and soars with you…for I could have written this post. I have a nineteen year old son who still likes to sit on the couch, arm around me and watch a movie. He opens the door for me, and I wonder at his good manners, for though his father is a kind man, he’s not so regal…and then I realize his manners come from the best place, his heart.

  8. says

    It’s been a long time since I’ve read to my kids, but what precious memories those are! The last book we read together was The Legend of Holly Claus and I think my son was about that age then. He and my daughter both still love to spend time with me and it is truly such a joy, Godjoy for sure!

  9. says

    My heart is always happy when I see children who love to read/be read to. It’s such a gift. I, too, remember the days of cuddles and books. Now I’m experiencing it with my grandchildren–and again I see the gift.

  10. says

    Love the toes in the picture. 🙂

    Enjoy those times reading and cuddling with your small and big ones. The days are so swift. I read this morning with my 17-yr-old, but our days are numbered.

  11. says

    First, I love the photo! How cozy and intimate is reading spot outdoors. And second, I love that your young man (and your little boy) still wants to read with his mama. Such a poignant and loving story you’ve shared today. Thank you from my heart to yours.

  12. says

    What a wonderful story and memory. I still love read-alouds, too. That was my most favorite part of my job when I worked in an elementary school, and it’s the reason for my ongoing audiobook addiction, I suspect. 🙂 Grace and peace to you in the risen Christ, Laura!

  13. says

    Great post and photos! My husband and I still love reading the Bible and devotionals to each other! You are blessed to have these moments and to be a Godly role model to your (not-so)-little ones!
    Love in Him,

  14. says

    I have three boys that are a step or two ahead of your sweet son. It is so hard to let them go, but in the going you are bringing him close with one of the best pastimes ever–reading! This is something that forges the two of you together like nothing else. And when he leaves someday, you’ll be comforted by those memories and reading to grandbabies. Great post, Laura! 🙂

  15. says

    Obviously it’s a lot warmer where you are than where I am. We’re having a rainy spring. How great that you and your son are able to enjoy reading and quiet times together.

    Hope you had a blessed Easter. And that, for you, Easter can be EVERY DAY. The resurrection and the life. Past mistakes and disappointments put behind us. “Looking toward the blessed hope of His glorious appearing.”

  16. says

    Our current bedtime read-alouds are Heidi (Charles with Byron) and The Man in the Iron Mask (me with Derek and Titus). Quite a contrast. 🙂

    Read-aloud time is the only time they really make cuddly contact. In the book we used to teach our children to read, it mentions the “cuddle factor.” Yes, the cuddle factor is definitely important in teaching our children to read—and in reading to them later.

  17. says

    I understand her plight, too. But you keep on reading with that boy because it’s true — you’re never too old to read aloud!! (I read to my high school sophomores!)

    Happy Spring to you and your boys, Laura!

  18. says

    I love how in the tyranny of the urgent, you take this time to offer the sacrament of presence with the one who loves you. What a gift to read with your boy under a tree. This memory will not soon be forgotten I am sure. Beautiful Laura. And now I can’t wait to read your interview with one of my favs.

  19. says

    oh wow, Laura, i love this: “But on Saturday, when Jesus still sleeps in the tomb, I say to him, we don’t have to be anywhere today.

    And he knows exactly what I mean. So we drag a thick blanket out under the plum tree and we read all afternoon in the dappled light of sun filtered through those purple leaves.”

    beautiful. but it was the last part that really got me–made me tear up…her every thought for them…you just crystallized upon my heart why i do what i do–*thank you*.

  20. says

    You are very right. We all have so many things to do and forgetting many times to do what really is important. Being with family and enjoying GOd’s creation is time well spent. Food for the soul:)

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